Visitors and users of the Lucy Plackett Playing Field may have noticed that tree felling, crown thinning, canopy lifting and other work was carried out on Monday 19 February.  This work was identified as Priority 2 in a 2015 survey of trees growing on seven public open spaces and amenity areas in the village that was commissioned by the Adderbury Parish Council.
The study report identified a priority of work as:
High Risk, Priority 1, Medium Risk Priority 2 and Low or No Risk priority 3.  All tree work identified as Priority 1 was completed at the various sites during 2016.
A further update inspection of the trees at the Lucy Plackett Playing Field was carried out by the Parish Council Tree Group on 10 August 2017 when the members considered the Priority 2 recommended actions contained in the 2015 Adderbury Tree Study Report. Also attending the above meeting was the organiser of a memorial tree planting scheme consisting of Royal Lime trees (Tilia europeus ‘Pallida’) carried out in 1997.
The 1997 trees were unfortunately vandalised not long after planting by breaking and snapping the stems.  The damaged stems were cut back and new growth was made mainly in the form of basal shoots.  It was decided at the time to retain the trees and allow them to grow.  Unfortunately, the resulting multiple stems have grown into trunks, with one tree having 17 sub trunks.  Many of these trunks arise from structurally poor junctions that will become increasingly likely to failure as the size of the trunk and its leaf canopy increases. There are ten Lime trees in total with four in a poor structural condition and at the meeting on the 10 August it was agreed to recommend to the Parish Council that these four Lime trees be felled and replaced, along with other tree work.  In view of the position of the four trees close to footpaths and the children’s play area the risk posed by these trees is not acceptable and under its Duty of Care the Parish Council authorised the work at its meeting of the 12 September 2017 and the first day of the tree work was completed on Monday 19 February.
Because the Lucy Plackett Playing Field is within the Adderbury Conservation Area, the schedule of proposed tree works was submitted to Cherwell District Council and as no objections were raised by the Arboriculturist, the work was that Council.
The final day of work will take place in the next fortnight and will include the planting of five replacement Lime trees at 14-16cm girth size.
Andrew L. Barnes. 22 February 2018

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